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A Panoramic Vision

Dilian Markov

Day to day Dilian Markov can be found photographing for the Bulgarian editions of huge international publications such as Elle, Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar, but he is still drawn to travelling and exploring – and loves the power a panoramic image can have.

Besides my creative work, my other passion is travelling. A few years ago, I found a small camera with great lenses and image quality that allowed me to go out into the street and shoot the "real life" without make-up and artificial light. That same year I took a long vacation. Acting on the spur of the moment I moved in to a campervan with my family for a month and a half and we travelled. I shot my family every day and the life around us as we explored

Along for the journey with Dilian was the Sony NEX-6, the camera that impacted on the type of photos he captured. There was a feature on the camera that allowed Dilian to explore shooting panoramic images, something that he had always been fascinated by, but had never had the patience to do.

dilian markov sony nex 6 black and white mountain landscape in andalucia spain © Dilian Markov | Sony NEX-6 + FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA | 1/500s @ f/4.0 ISO 100

‘In my work I am very dynamic. I almost never use a tripod and I'm constantly moving looking for "something new," perhaps a gesture, smile or a natural reaction to the person who I'm shooting. It’s exactly the same when it comes to travel photography.’

I respect the precision and patience of my colleagues, who use a tripod to shoot the "frame-by-frame" panoramic images, but I'm not like them, I simply don’t have that patience and it’s not how I enjoy to shoot. Since I discovered the Panorama feature, I’m really pleased with the opportunity it gives me to take photos.

For the uninitiated, the panoramic mode found in the Sony cameras allows photographers to create a panoramic image with a single sweeping motion of the camera. As the camera shoots the images it is also simultaneously stitching them together to create a single panoramic view, taking the hard work out of taking such images.

dilian markov sony alpha 6500 desert landscape panoramic © Dilian Markov | Sony α6500 + E 10-18mm f/4 OSS | 1/250s @ f/11 ISO 100
Panoramic photography has always attracted me, intuitively, without having a specific explanation. I love the open, wide, landscapes, with lots of space - and light and water has also been a great influence. These types of places recharge my energy and desire to shoot. Standing in front of such landscapes, the only way to express what my eyes see and my heart feels is by taking panoramic images.
dilian markov sony alpha 6000 girl gazes at ocean in cannes panoramic © Dilian Markov | Sony α6000 + E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 | 1/320s @ f/13 ISO 100

Whilst you may expect that most of Dilian’s panoramic images are all landscapes, he often looks at the wide format as a way of providing an alternative point of view.

I was on business trip in Cannes, working for an international chemical company. I had two hours left free. I walked with my camera along the coastal street. It was noon and the sun shone brightly. By all rules this time was not suitable for photography. I reached the end of the street, behind the crowds of tourists on the beach and suddenly saw it in front of me: a young girl, looking in expectation for the ships in the bay in front of her. I picked up the camera and shot intuitively without thinking. I knew I only had one or two attempts. The girl turned her head to the camera, looked at me and then left. But I already had my picture. It wasn’t a traditional panorama, but the effect was magical.

dilian markov sony alpha 7II foro di cesare in rome panoramic at sunset © Dilian Markov | Sony α7 II + FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA | 1/60s @ f/4.0 ISO 125

As for why Dilian continues to shoot panoramic images the answer is quite simple, ‘I have beautiful photos from different places around the world in the classic 2/3 and 1/1 format. But when I display panorama at 2.50m in length, the effect is quite different. Standing in front of it, you have to turn your head to cover the whole image. In this moment, I see in the viewers eyes how they all move in their minds to the place I have photographed. The impact is unique!’

dilian markov sony alpha 7II idyllic beach in cuba showing tree branches sticking out of water © Dilian Markov | Sony α7 II + FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA | 1/500s @ f/16 ISO 100

‘Panoramic shots made me realise that if I do photography with my heart, it touches people’s souls.’

Dilian’s top tips:

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Dilian Markov

Dilian Markov | Bulgaria

"For me the reason of photography is to touch the soul of other people"

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